This painted Anaglypta dado enhances the style of an art nouveau home.
Gold paint is applied sparingly to highlight the texture of the embossed paper.


Dear Debbie;

My Great Room is painted dark chocolate brown, including the ceiling. (I am into the wow factor.) I want something special for underneath the chair rail that goes all around the room. I’m thinking Anaglypta painted in various shades of brown including caramel all swirled around. Many thanks,
— Lynda

Dear Lynda;

Anaglypta is an embossed wallpaper that is designed to be painted. It is thicker than regular wallpaper and a practical solution for disguising bumps, small cracks and imperfections. The raised designs come in a variety of stylish patterns that enhance historical period decorating, but also include contemporary designs. The textured feature of this wallpaper adds warmth and dimension to your walls. And it also presents an intriguing surface on which to apply paint finishes.

For example, I chose Anaglypta to add character to a dining room dado in the home of a couple who were lovers of the art nouveau period and had several pieces of authentic furniture. The paper’s pattern has a traditional art nouveau design, which is highlighted with a leaf green glaze. The coloured glaze is applied over a creamy yellow basecoat and then rubbed back to remove the top layers of glaze while leaving colour in the indentations.

Your chocolate brown Great Room is a bold choice and your idea of adding an Anaglypta dado will boost its charm. A dado should have equal or more weight than the upper walls so that the room doesn’t feel top heavy. The basecoat can match the walls, then you have a choice of different effects. A copper glaze will produce “metallic” weight and a glorious sheen that light can play off in daylight and at night. To create a copper patina, highlight the copper glaze layer with random dabs of light and dark turquoise glazes always rubbing back so that the effect is blurry and not too dark and the turquoise glazes are left behind in some of the crevices.

Your choice of caramel swirling through the embossed design would also be warm and welcoming. Before you do the entire dado, practice on a panel with different combinations until you are satisfied. There is no right combination, and with paint you can always start again. Your room will be stunning.

Dear Debbie;

I have just finished my silver leaf bathtub and it looks great. However, I am struggling with what varnish to use. What would be best? Thanks.
— Ruth

Dear Ruth;

I’m happy to hear that you are pleased with your silver leaf tub. It really does make a glamourous finish. To protect your project, apply two coats of acrylic clear coat varnish. As the name implies, this water-based product will not yellow and offers a good top coat that can be wiped down without marring the metal leaf.

If you have never tried silver leafing, it isn’t difficult. The thin metal leaf, available in craft stores, adheres to a special glue called size. Wait until the size is tacky and then lay on the leaf. Imitation metal leaf comes in silver, gold, copper, aluminium and brass. You will feel like an artist by adding a touch of metal to furniture and accessories.